Sunday, February 6, 2011

Residential Certificates are not at par with Sikkim Subject Certificates, CM reiterates

NAMCHI, 06 Feb: The Residential Certificates [to be issued to those who have been residing in Sikkim since before 26 April 1975 but do not possess Sikkim Subject Certificates] are meant to check influx and secure the future of Sikkim and the Sikkimese but the Opposition parties are seeking to mislead the people into believing that RCs will compromise the status and significance of Sikkim Subjects, Chief Minister Pawan Chamling stressed today. He was speaking at the Sonam Lochar celebrations organised at Kateng in Namthang, South Sikkim.

The CM called on the people to now ask Opposition party leaders to explain how the Residential Certificates could be equated at the same pedestal as the Sikkim Subjects, an identity protected by the Constitution of India.
The Chief Minister explained that the RC was introduced to secure a clearer identity for those who have been residing in Sikkim since before the merger [but did not possess Sikkim Subject Certificates], and stressed that this was not even Constitutionally possible to create a ‘certificate’ equal in value or significance to the Sikkim Subject Certificate.
The move is not to replace the Sikkim Subject Certificates, he assured, and thus was not a violation of any Old Law either, he added.
The Residential Certificates, he contended, was in favour of the people of Sikkim and was a decision preceded by a lot of serious thinking and clear commitment to the interests of the Sikkimese, he stressed.
“Those protesting it should be held to account by the people because these groups are trying to put hurdles in smooth functioning and better development of Sikkim,” he said.
He pointed out how the SDF Government had succeeded in winning Income Tax exemption for Sikkim Subjects and held it up as an example of the care with which the government looks out for the interests of the Sikkimese.
“With this [Income Tax] exemption, we have enhanced the value of the Sikkim Subject Certificate and people should realise that we have never done anything to undermine the importance of Sikkim Subjects in the 17 years that we have been at the helm of affairs in the State,” he stressed.
Confident that he had the trust of the people, the CM however rued that people tend to remain silent spectators, opting to remain neutral even when their interests are directly at stake. Democracy, he stressed, required people to get involved and send out clear signals to agent provocateurs bent upon vitiating the peace in the State and derail development here.
While on an involved citizenry, the CM also commented that the collective participation which democracy encourages should be extended to the cooperative movement in the State and called on the cooperative societies to benefit from the government decision to award them works of up to Rs. 50 lakhs. “Don’t sell these works on a commission. Carry them out, benefit from the experience and profits and make the society stronger,” he appealed. He said that the performing cooperative societies could even be considered for works of up to Rs. 5 crores.
Earlier in the day, the Chief Minister laid the foundation stone of a Tamang Community Centre at Kateng. He was also felicitated by the Sonam Lochar organising committee today. The CM was accompanied by Ministers Tilu Gurung, CB Karki, Namchi-Singithang MLA Binod Gurung, senior party leaders and officers of various departments.
He also interacted with the youth of Namthang-Rateypani constituency at the Namthang Block Administrative Centre.

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